23 January 2021
We acknowledge that there has been increased interest in the issue of leafletting by political parties in recent weeks. Media reports have indicated that local police forces have interpreted the Covid-19 lockdown rules differently. It is also clear that different Political parties have sought and offered advice to their local groups on carrying out political activity during lockdown.
Given the inconsistencies, we welcome the greater clarity offered by the recommendations issued by the Cabinet Office on January 22nd 2021 and will cease all door-to-door leafletting activity immediately until further legal advice is forthcoming.
As a local Party we took advice from our national and regional Party. The Green Party of England and Wales advised us: During the pandemic, the Green Party has sought advice from the Electoral Commission, the Cabinet Office, the Local Government Association, Public Health England and elsewhere on the legality and health impact of distributing newsletters or other literature during the pandemic. The message is clear that the risk of spreading or picking up coronavirus while distributing local ward newsletters is incredibly small – so small it is of no concern to the professionals consulted.
We welcome the determination of the Cabinet Office to ensure a level playing field for those standing for election, protect the integrity of our elections, and help voters to have confidence in these elections which are important civic events despite the challenging circumstances. We sincerely hope this will be the case as we believe that, unfortunately, not permitting leafletting disproportionately disadvantages smaller political parties and benefits incumbent councillors, predominantly from the larger political parties.
We have found that delivering newsletters door-to-door is the most effective way to reach local residents and make sure they are kept informed about the issues that matter to them. During lockdown, we have ensured deliveries are carried out in a Covid-safe way. The safety of residents and volunteers has been our overriding priority throughout. We have received much positive feedback from residents to the newsletters delivered during lockdown.
Sign up for updates